The other day I was watching this video on YouTube:
It is an hour and forty-one minutes long, however there are some very interesting questions asked with some perspectives given from both a Jewish point of view, and from the point of view of a Gentile.
A gentile is easy to define as they are the group of people on Earth that are not of a Jewish linage. A Jew is a person of the linage of Abraham (the definition given defines the roots of the ancient kingdom of Judah, but we will go with the linage of Abraham here). A distinct characteristic of the Jewish people is that they were directly established by God, and are identified as the people of God, and the nation has the sole purpose to carry out the plan of God. (One may argue that all people fit that last criteria, and from a holistic perspective that would be correct, however God specifically identified the Jewish Nation as the Nation whereby the world would be cursed, or the world would be blessed).
So the point of the discussion is views based on the perspective of God’s people, versus everyone else (at least as these two individuals represent those groups and express their own personal views). And if you are unaware, Dennis Prager is the Jew here, and Jack Hibbs is the gentile.
There were many interesting aspects of the discussion, however there is one point I’d like to pick up specifically. During the questions and answers, the question was asked: “Is Jesus Christ the Messiah?” A very important point to a Jew, since the Messiah, was promised to the Jewish people, by God, as a savior or deliverer. And if Jesus Christ was indeed the Messiah, then the Jewish Nation would expect the Kingdom of God to be established here on Earth today.
The way Dennis Prager answered this question however, is quite interesting (and very eye opening). Dennis answered the question by saying (and I paraphrase) ‘The question to most Jews is not whether Jesus Christ is the Messiah, but whether or not he is God.’
This is an extremely important distinction. To the Jew, the people of God, God is to be revered above all else. And the entity of God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim, or simply “I AM”, is crucial to the Jew above all else. Even the name of God is to be reverenced (I am somewhat amused by people that run around and constantly try and “correct” everyone else on the correct name and pronunciation of the name of God. We should all be mindful of the fact that God did not hire any of us to protect his name – he is perfectly capable of that on his own and trying to correct someone on the pronunciation of the name of God is not being very respectful of the name of God). Asking, stating, or implying that Jesus Christ is God is the highest order of blasphemy and of the gravest of sins.
So, is Jesus Christ indeed God? Probably the most important question one can ask (and discover an answer for) in a lifetime. So much hangs on this question it is a defining point between Heaven and Hell. It establishes eternity in its answer and separates all of human history in its asking.
Is Jesus Christ God? Well first of all he said that he was. In John 14:8-9 Jesus clearly stated that if you had seen him, you had seen the Father. In this exchange the reference is clearly to God the Father. Jesus was saying that he and God the Father were equal, one in the same, if you had seen one you’ve seen the other. This line of reasoning extended to his claim to be the Son of God as well. In the Jewish culture the son represented the father. Indeed, in many parables if the son were acting on behalf of the father, it was if the father were carrying out the act himself. In John 10:30 He stated that he and the Father were one. And in John 8:58 He directly used a significant title of God.
Secondly, God recognized Him as His own Son. In the Gospels are recordings of a voice from Heaven identifying Jesus Christ as His Son. In Matthew 17:5 a bright cloud appears and a voice from Heaven identifies Jesus Christ as His Son. In a Jewish context this would have equated Jesus Christ to God. And how would a voice be heard from Heaven more than 2,000 years ago? There were no special effects crews standing on the banks of the Jordan river. And yet hundreds of people heard a voice from the Heavens. The people of the time recognized this as the voice of God.
Thirdly, those that followed him, the apostles and disciples recognized him as God. In John 1:1-3 John was referring to Jesus as “The Word” (meaning The Word of God) and clearly states that He was with God and was God. These are the claims that lead to Jeus’s crucifixion and were what set the religious leaders of the day against Him. And this claim is also what sent the vast majority of the apostles and disciples to their own exile and deaths. The only thing they needed to do to avoid torture and persecution was to deny the claim of Jesus Christ to be God. And yet these individuals were willing to be put to death rather than deny Christ.
Lastly, Jesus Christ did what no other could do, he raised himself from the dead. In John 2:18-20 Jesus said, “I will raise it up“. Jesus Christ said that He and God were acting as one, in accord, in raising Him from the dead. And if Jesus Christ is not God, then God has allowed an imposters reputation to stand, and spread, all of the world, for more than two centuries.
If there is still any doubt in your heart as to whether Jesus Christ is God, then I have this suggestion to both you and Dennis Prager, Ask Him. Just ask God to show you if Jesus Christ is indeed His Son and part of the Godhead. And sincerely, earnestly, honestly, and expecting an answer. And I believe that is one question God is guaranteed to answer.